Before taking the reins at Broadway Performing Arts, Elisa Heinsohn appeared on the TV series Fame, and Cleve Asbury acted in the Oscar-winning film Chicago. The duo also racked up an impressive set of Broadway credits—Asbury most recently played Mr. Ovington in the hit How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying—and starred in more television commercials than a dog who can talk. Nowadays, the two continue their performing-arts work while co-owning and co-directing their studio, leading their team as they teach students from 3-year-olds to adults. The studio’s eclectic curricula hone students’ skills in disciplines such as musical theater, dance, and guitar.
Within American One Productions’ spacious rehearsal room, the sharp pop of toms and the rasp of snares drift from Yamaha drums and reverberate off the acoustic paneling. Music teachers and bands fill the professional-quality studio, which has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to learn, jam, or wear sunglasses indoors. Group and private music lessons teach students the fundamentals of theory and technique on a range of instruments, and bands can take advantage of mixing gear to polish their sound during rehearsals.
A Steinway grand piano was not designed with a three-year-old in mind. These beautiful, expensive instruments—15 to 20 of which sprawl across Lindeblad School of Music's showroom—look too imposing and elegant for a person who still dreams of growing up to become a helicopter. But at Lindeblad School of Music’s recitals, these ivory-tickling toddlers climb the Steinway's bench, dangle their legs over its pedals, and begin to pluck rich, gorgeous sound from machines hand carved from African mahogany and other opulent woods. It’s not that the Lindeblad family doesn’t know the worth of these instruments—after all, they’ve been restoring them for four generations. But the recitals epitomize one of Lindeblad School of Music's educational principles: a dual emphasis on practice and performance. As they’re taking lessons, students are preparing to play before an audience on a superb piano or realistically painted refrigerator box. The faculty who help them all possess an inclination to instruction as well as diversity in their musical experience. Before a course of piano, voice, or guitar lessons, the school's director, Dr. Vogel, pairs students interested in a specific genre, such as classical or jazz, with teachers from that field, most of whom have a master’s degree or a Ph.D. During their children's lessons, parents can wait in a reception area equipped with a coffee machine, WiFi, and a television playing music programming. For students enrolled in regular lessons, Dr. Vogel invites parents to biannual conferences with their child's instructor for progress reports and goals assessment.
Elie Esper, the creative director and founder of his eponymous salon, has shown off his talents on magazine covers and runways from Paris to the Middle East, and was the official hairstylist of Couture Fashion Week in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Though his avant-garde designs have won international acclaim for more than 16 years, he still takes pride in beautifying brides before their trips down the aisle. Drawing on professional products from Kérastase, he washes away dirt and wig powder before infusing strands with color and sculpting shapes that defy both gravity and convention. His ability to bridge the gap between elegant and edgy attracts brides from around the world to Elie Esper Salon for wedding consultations and trial runs.
The Sing With Me curriculum stretches back to the late 19th century, when a duo of sisters and early-education researchers composed the tune that would eventually become "Happy Birthday to You." Donating the popular song's royalties to a foundation, the song eventually financed the research of Ken Guilmartin, who was pursuing the role of music in early cognitive development. Teaming up with fellow researcher Lili Levinowitz, Guilmartin founded Music Together LLC, a system of musical learning that allowed kids from birth to age 7 and their parents to access the joys of music together in a fun, supportive environment. Although not every child is destined for a career as a concert pianist, Sing With Me’s teachers start from the philosophy that all children have some innate musical sense and can be taught to sing in tune, move rhythmically, and distinguish a recorder from a Charleston Chew.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, David Sklar has composed for independent films, played at Lincoln Center, and won several piano competitions of his own. But his true legacy lives on in the deft fingers of the countless protégés to attend his studio, where he helps them hone their musical expression and creativity with a mixture of technique, music theory, and ear training during fun and engaging one-on-one lessons. Specializing in a variety of styles—from classical sonatas to show tunes and pop music—David also gives students his undivided attention during voice and songwriting classes.